We can be too close to our strengths and skills to see them as such. Many of the things that come easy to us come with great difficulty to others. Maybe it is easy for you to eat clean, wake up early, and work-out regularly. These disciplines are really difficult for many, many other people. Others find that engineering and math come easy to them while those of us not “engineering-minded” or “math-oriented” struggle with these subjects. Languages are no different. Writing appears to fall into this category as well. Some people find writing excruciating, and yet others find it relaxing, a meditation of sorts. Stressors are subjective.
A friend has a superpower but he does not see it that way. He has the ability to stay up all night long and not be tired the next day. The next morning, he operates as if he got a great night’s sleep, and he maintains this energy all throughout the next day into the night. And he doesn’t go to bed early the next night, either. He’s simply himself, the way his friends know him. He claims to have always been this way, even as a kid. He embodies an incredible, unfair advantage of not needing sleep each night, unlike the rest of humanity. How many of us would love to have this trait? What would we do with the extra time? An extra 6, 7, 8 hours added to our waking life? Think about what you could get done.
Peoples’ #1 complaint is never having enough time for work, for play, for family, for themselves, for hobbies, for exercise, etc. He gets to gift himself 6 to 8 hours’ more conscious time than anyone else. Note that this is different from those who can get by on 4 to 5 hours’ sleep per night. My superpowered friend barely needs 1 to 2 hours’ sleep. He isn’t bragging; he’s just operating as he always has, far too close to his truly amazing uber-human power to realize it.
Most of us have something we excel at or are far better than others at. Either we work at it each day so it isn’t what we often think about or else it comes naturally to us. We go about it in a normal fashion: doing it, doing it, doing it. Yet there are other people who would be blown-away by our abilities, by our doing, by our discipline, by our output. There are people out there that aren’t addicted to social media. There are people out there that don’t check the news stream 19 times a day. There are people out there that think watching CNN all day long is bad for you. There are people out there that don’t even have cable and somehow live a great life.
The scary part about having much of your sleeping time back to be awake and doing is: what if we waste it just like we do with several hours of our waking time? What if we waste it on video games? Watching even more of our stories? Watching another six straight seasons of Netflix Originals? Scrolling social media? Checking-in? CNN all night until 5 AM and then again at 6?
The top advice Warren Buffett offers young people is to develop good, positive habits early. He says this because he knows if we take him up on this advice and execute on developing habits that are good for us, we’ll excel early and have lofty goals. Further, the good habits will positively affect every aspect of our lives and those who surround us: emotional, physical, financial, and even spiritual. Good, positive habits are like excellent network effects: the more positive you are in thoughts and actions, the more those positive thoughts and actions spreads onto others. I sincerely doubt Warren Buffett is up all night, watching CNN.
Perhaps an uncommon superpower is to be able to detach oneself from what you’re doing at any given moment and being able to ask yourself, “Is this a good use of my time? Should I be engaging in this right now? Is this the conversation I should be having at this moment? What else could I be doing right now that could prove far more fruitful?” This superpower would be a heightened, keen awareness, constantly gauging and calibrating whether something or someone is worth your time at any given moment. If this keen sense gives your consciousness the green light, then stay the course. But if it flashes red, exclaiming, “Warning! This is a danger zone. Steer clear. Turn the other way and run!”, we’d always have an exit strategy. Imagine the emotional turmoil and thus expenditure this would save us. Working on a sense of heightened awareness of the present moment, I believe such a superpower is possible. Certain Masters of Reality possess it.
What about you? What comes easy to you that others would look at and say, How do you do that? What do your friends say you’re great at, far better than they are, that you may be too close to? What superpowers do you possess that make others envious and wonder how you do them? Perhaps more interesting, what superpowers can you work to develop that would make you unstoppable?